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Sports BIT: NBA Finals Game 2, Astros-Rangers & 2017 Falcons

Cleveland Cavaliers At Golden State Warriors

Game 2 of the NBA Finals is Sunday night from Oracle Arena. The Warriors were the first team in NBA history to start a postseason at 12-0 and now they are the first to begin one at 13-0. Is there a chance the Dubs could make history by running the table in the playoffs? It’s still very possible following their Game 1 113-91 home win Thursday night after long layoffs for both the Cavs and Warriors. Kevin Durant was the best player on the floor with 38 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and zero turnovers. Golden State had just four turnovers overall, tying for the fewest in an NBA Finals game. It’s possible that Warriors coach Steve Kerr could return to the team for Game 2 as well. Can we take anything from the previous Game 2 Finals matchups between these teams in Oakland? Last year, the Dubs took Game 1 104-89 and then blew out the Cavs 110-77 in Game 2. Of course, Cleveland would then win four of the next five games. In 2015, the Warriors took Game 1 108-100 in overtime but lost Game 2 95-93 in OT. NBA Finals Game 2 favorites are just 9-16-1 ATS (36 percent) the previous 26 postseasons, including a 2-7 ATS mark since 2008. The underdog has won Game 2 outright 12 times in the past 26 seasons, including those 2015 Cavs, who were +7.5.


Houston Astros At Texas Rangers

These are two of the better offensive teams in baseball with the Astros ranking first in runs scored and the Rangers 10th. And Globe Life Park in Arlington is very hitter-friendly. However, this opening total tied as the lowest on Friday’s MLB board at 7.5 runs because it’s the ace of each staff and a Cy Young contender in Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel and Texas right-hander Yu Darvish. Keuchel is 8-0 with a 1.81 ERA and is the leader in the clubhouse to start for the American League in the All-Star Game. Keuchel’s eight-game winning streak is the longest in the majors this season and the longest since in a single season by an Astro since Roger Clemens had a nine-game run in the 2004 campaign. Dating to last year, Keuchel has won 10 consecutive decisions, which ties as the fifth-longest winning streak in franchise history. The southpaw is 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA away from home. Darvish is 5-3 with a 2.97 ERA through 11 starts and the Rangers are 8-3 in them. He is working on extended rest for the third time in his last four starts and has gone 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA (7 ER/26.0 IP) in 4 starts with an extra day of rest this season.


Deep Dive On 2017 Atlanta Falcons

The 2016 season was almost a dream for the Atlanta Falcons. They had the NFL’s best offense and its MVP in quarterback Matt Ryan. Atlanta led the New England Patriots 28-3 late in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI … and then it all fell apart. The Pats won 34-28 in overtime – the first Super Bowl overtime – in the biggest comeback in the game’s history. Can the Falcons break the Super Bowl Curse? No loser of that game has gotten back the following season since the 1993 Buffalo Bills. While all the key players return, Coach Dan Quinn will have a new offensive and defensive coordinator. The architect of that record-breaking offense, Kyle Shanahan, took the head coaching job with the 49ers. He was replaced by Steve Sarkisian, who was Alabama’s offensive coordinator for all of one game last season: the national championship loss to Clemson. Oddsmakers give the Falcons a win total of 9.5 wins in 2017 as the schedule is much tougher.